To forgive someone is an empowering spiritual act, yet most of us struggle to find the strength to do so because we let our egos get in the way. We instead hold onto grudges leaving us feeling jaded. Most of us do not realize that by forgiving someone genuinely, we heal ourselves too. We can let go of the past hurt and make way for new growth.
Why is forgiveness important?
Forgiveness is essential to bringing us peace and freeing ourselves from hatred. By forgiving others, we are letting go of anxiety, resentment, and anger. This opens the door for us to grow as humans. Forgiving someone for harm they caused us extinguishes past damage. It stops obstructing our spiritual growth because we are no longer bogged down by negative energy. It washes away built-up pain within us that would otherwise eat at our soul. It gives us the ability to look forward instead of dwelling on our past.
Forgiveness helps accelerates a new beginning with that person. Forgiveness also denies the person to have any power over your thoughts, feelings, and actions. Without even knowing it, you could let the anger you have towards the person and situation dictate how you live out each day. For example, if someone you dated in the past betrayed your trust and you never forgave them, you might have trust issues in relationships moving forward. It is unfair to blame others for someone else’s mistakes, which is another reason why forgives is so essential.
How can I forgive?
Many religions stress the importance of forgiveness, yet lack in offering practical steps in how to do so. Forgiveness is easier said than done and can take practice to get right. Forgiving someone can be very hard, depending on the nature of the hurt they caused, but it is essential not to give up.
First, take the time to listen to your heart about how you feel about the situation at hand. Make a commitment to yourself that you will do what you need to feel better and let the pain go, regardless of how long it takes. This means putting aside your pride and ego. Make it a goal to forgive the person but understand that it does not equate to reconciliation. Sometimes, you must lower your expectations of the person or move from their friendship completely.
Secondly, practice stress management techniques to help you get over particularly upsetting moments. Meditation is one of the most recommended by spiritual advisors. Instead of letting the sour mood consume you, focus on the love, beauty, and kindness in the world around you. This takes away the power the person has over you because you are choosing not to focus on the pain.
We are given a choice when we are hurt, and spirituality calls on us to forgive. When we forgive, we open a new chapter where we can grow from the situation. As Martin Luther King Jr. said, “He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love.”